Your Grrrs: July 7, 2005

Your Grrrs ...

Chris in Ohio: I personally would like to thank all of my neighbors for the fireworks shows they have been putting on for me since Memorial Day. I do realize that Monday evening was July 4th and that you may have not had a chance to get it out of your system over the weekend, but do you also realize I have a 14-month-old son that goes to bed at dark? I do realize your children are older and are out on summer break and do not go to bed as early. So, to thank you for the repeated displays of consideration toward your fellow neighbor, I will wait till mid-September when your kids are back in school and put on my fireworks show at 2 a.m. on varying weekdays to show my appreciation.

Randall in Idaho Falls, Ind.: The other night I was at the grocery store. I found my way to the bulk foods section and placed my cart far enough away from the bulk food containers to allow others making their way to the bulk foods to make their selection. From stage left comes an Oblivion who parks her overburdened cart right in front of most of the bulk food containers. Other shoppers and I patiently waited for her to obliviously select her items (not covered by her overflowing cart) and leave. I did lots of growling under my breath; somehow it just doesn't feel as good as this entry. GRRR! By the way, I was buying bulk candy for the — get this: "Batman" and "War of the Worlds" double feature!!! Good thing I went cheap and bought my movie snacks at a discount!!! That way, the ticket purchase remorse is at least bearable.

Stephen in Cyberspace: Tom Cruise is very quick to tell Matt Lauer that he doesn't know the history of psychiatry. He is quick to tell people not to take drugs that help them. Funny thing is he isn't very quick to tell anybody that his "religion" is based on the idea that an alien, Xenu, brought millions of aliens to Earth (he called it Teegeeack) and exploded them with hydrogen bombs. And that the spirits of these dead aliens are attached to our bodies and that is the root of all of our problems. Maybe he isn't an OT III (Operating Thetan Level 3) and hasn't been taught that part, yet. Members of Scientology work toward achieving "Clear," which is having all of the spirits of the dead aliens gone from their bodies. They then get superpowers. I'm sure Scientology just loves brain-dead celebrities like Cruise, because they bring attention to their teachings. The Church of Scientology Web site is all full of touchy feely stuff, but no mention of aliens of the captivity, torture and death of many members. Anyone interested in the truth can do a quick Google of Scientology or go to If Mr. Cruise wants to live his life as a mindless, brainwashed moron, that's his right, but a BIG GRRR! to him for pushing it on unsuspecting people.

Carter in Cyberspace: Why is that we have to pay $10 to go to the movies? There are now enough commercials before each movie that they should be paying me to view the movie. How could the movie industry be down when they are making a killing off of the commercials and my $10? Also, DVD sales are up so much that the movies producers take the movies off the big screen quicker so they can put it on the store shelves. I have not seen a great movie since the final "Lord of the Rings" trilogy installment. What has happened to movies? The only thing that producers seem to care about is who can make the best special effects and not who can make the most creative, intellectually stimulating movie. The only words that I hear after a movie are, “How cool was that explosion, fight scene, digital imagery, etc.?” Thanks for listening.

Mike in Cyberspace: In response to Luis in Cyberspace calling those who send in Grrrs a “bunch of whiners,” does the fact that you complain about what others said rather than your own gripes make you better than the average reader who submits a peeve to this column? Furthermore, you equate the Grrrs listed in this column to the “whining” that led to banning smoking in bars. If that is the case, I say bravo, fellow readers. Considering that in America today, only 30 percent of adults smoke, why should the other 70 percent of us be subjected to the health risks and the stench that come with being in a smoke-filled room? For bars, it just makes good business sense. Why wouldn’t you attempt to please the clear majority of your customers, even if the cost is the disparate minority? Granted, not all of the 70 percent of Americans who don’t smoke would be in favor of banning smoking, but I’m willing to bet that most if not all wouldn’t be against it. Clearly, this is why smoking bans have passed when placed on the ballot nearly every time. Could it be that your gripe with the smoking ban is nothing more than a personal “whine” as you called it? Do us all a favor and quit, both smoking and making poorly constructed, baseless arguments about what you deem important or unimportant. No one said this column has to be about things that are of great world impact, just things that create an impact in someone’s own, everyday world.

Chris in Jackson, Mich.: While shopping yesterday, I came upon a mother with four small children, all very active. She ran into a friend, they started talking, she became oblivious to her children who were busy falling down in front of customers, throwing things, grabbing shopping carts away from other customers and generally being a complete nuisance. Mom, of course, was busy chatting with her friend. One of her hellions (about age 7) grabbed my cart and refused to give it back. And naturally I thought of you first.

Rita in Pa. with her GRRR on cell phones: I heard a report on a national news radio station concerning this subject. It appears that when phones were first being used, people yelled into them. It was determined that if a very quiet echo of your voice was placed on the line then people would not yell anymore because they could hear themselves. Apparently, when you speak into a phone, your ear cannot determine how loudly you are speaking because you cannot hear and determine how loud you are talking. Anyway, over the many years that phones were used, the habit of talking in a normal tone of voice became common. It appears that the quiet echo of your own voice has since been removed from the modern phone system and people still use a normal tone of voice (habits are hard to break). Maybe a lack of this echo on cell phones is part of the problem with yelling into cell phones. Combine the lack of the quiet echo plus the habit everyone got into during early cell technology of yelling because the receiver of the call couldn't hear you could be the answer. Maybe placing that quiet echo on cell phone lines would reacquaint people with the normal tone of voice while using cell phones. Hey, maybe there is a way to change some Oblivianisms. But I doubt that one could ever change an Important. Keep up the good articles, Mike.

Laura in Washington, Ill.: My Grrr goes out to all of these people that are complaining about the smell of popcorn in the office. How about the stench of cigarettes on fellow employees? Mix that with coffee and you have the most rank breath in the world! There is nothing worse than coming to work and 1, having to smell the stench of cigarettes on another individual whom I am forced to work in close quarters with and their belongings and 2, having to walk through the fog of cigarette smoke at the employee entrance because the smokers feel the need to smoke every 10 minutes, therefore, negating the shower I took that morning and leaving me to smell like I've been to a bar!

Mathew in Cyberspace: Yay! I got my outtakes … and a whole package of them! What great response to viewer feedback you provide at FOX News! Thanks, Straka!

Matt, I aim to please ... FREE VIDEO: The Real Deal Outtakes

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Mike Straka is the director of operations and special projects for, and covers entertainment and features on the Sunday program "FOX Magazine." He also writes the weekly Grrr! Column and hosts "The Real Deal" video segments on